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Repo Man (CE)
DVD disk
02.17.2006 By: Scott Weinberg
Repo Man (CE) order
Director:
Alex Cox

Actors:
Emilio Estevez
Harry Dean Stanton
Tracey Walter

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
An angry young punk lands a job as a car repossessor, only to butt heads with a variety of deadbeats, dimbulbs, butt-kickers...and a car that may contain a pair of hyper-radioactive alien corpses.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
One of the true-blue indie cult films from the early 1980s, Alex Cox's REPO MAN is a flick that's a whole helluva a lot of fun to revisit after twenty years away. (I remember seeing it when I was 14 and having not one single clue what the hell it was about.)

Though it does offer a somewhat traditional A to B to C plot construction, the beauty of REPO MAN lies in its strange sense of humor, hyper-realistically grungy characters, and wonderfully weird attention paid to lots of small, silly details.

The first half of the flick focuses mainly on young Otto (Emilio Estevez) as he learns the repo man ropes, but once he's settled in and the side characters start getting some attention, writer/director Alex Cox throws everything into the mix but the bathroom sink. The result is an intentionally offbeat, impressively restrained, and captivatingly strange little adventure that might look a little outdated today, but only if you're focusing solely on the surface.

Plus REPO MAN features one of Harry Dean Stanton's best performances ever, and that alone is worthy of a $2.99 rental fee.

THE EXTRAS
There are four notable supplements, all of which should seriously please the fans of the REPO MAN:

Up Close with Harry Dean Stanton is a fantastic 21-minute sit-down between producer Peter McCarthy and legendary character actor Harry Dean Stanton. Admirers of the old-school actor will delight in his numerous anecdotes, philosophical ravings, and trips down memory lane. As a longtime fan of the actor's, I found this featurette downright fascinating.

Repossessed is a 25-minute chat between REPO MAN producers Pete McCarthy & Jonathan Wacks and writer/director Alex Cox. The filmmakers look back on their bizarre (yet beloved) baby with equal parts honesty, affection, and irreverence. Good stuff.

The Missing Scenes is a combo platter: half "deleted scenes" and half filmmaker featurette explaining why the cuts were made. Executive producer Michael Nesmith and Mr. Cox share their thoughts and insights throughout this 21-minute featurette, with a guest appearance by the inventor of the neutron bomb. Weird but fun.

Rounding out the platter is a info-packed feature-length audio commentary with writer/director Alex Cox, executive producer Michael Nesmith, casting director Victoria Thomas, and actors Sy Richardson, Zander Schloss, and Del Zamora. As an extra goodie you'll also get the original REPO MAN theatrical trailer.

FINAL DIAGNOSIS
REPO MAN is right up there with the 1980s cult classics like HEATHERS, BUCKAROO BANZAI, and BRAZIL ... although I wouldn't exactly call these flicks "similar" in any discernible way. They're all "acquired tastes," but those who've delved deeply into flicks like these generally come up as big fans -- which is what makes DVD re-issues so much fun.
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